Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Teachers Can Help Girls Lead

How Teachers Can Help Girls Lead

I definitely encourage all students to lead, but sometimes you need to develop those skills in each student differently!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Common Core In Georgia

I've been asked by people both in and out of my circle about the Common Core Standards. The Common Core Standards are a set of objectives that the Department of Education has mandated that all states follow to strengthen the position of the United States as it attempts to earn back it's place in this global competition. What I have discovered in the last few months are rather disturbing.
Many States Are Not Ready To Implement the Common Core
I've done my research and have been extremely disappointed at the fact that despite these standards have been put in place for several years, many states have not prepared for the implementation of the rigor and difficulty of the new standards. In Georgia, I've noticed a few passive attempts to "talk to the public" about these new standards, but it's been nothing more than a mere whisper to announce that they are going to integrate these standards by merely posting the standards in the classroom....
Publishers and Book Companies Do Not Know How To Address The Common Core
When we had the CRCT, EOCT in Georgia, it was fairly easy to understand how to teach various objectives to students. As we have migrated to Common Core, the task is to teach this new generation how to think "critically". Over the last few years, I have yet to see publishers compile the ideal set of resources to help students achieve this goal. Curriculum developers are struggling to do this which results in poorly written books, study guides and materials that lack in the content needed to help students, school staff, and parents with better test goals.
Teachers Want To Teach, But Are Lacking The Support
As a professional, the most important aspect that can attribute to success is being prepared. The fact that many of these professionals are being given standards without a blueprint to reference really bothers me.
I've done research and have noted that many school districts in every state have been given the directive to establish benchmark assessments and leveled questions that will address these standards. The fact of the matter is, the reason why your teacher may be struggling teaching your students is because they do not know what to teach.
What Can Be Done?
Let's face it, children are struggling in school. If the expectations are not presented properly, it will be difficult for them to perform at any level. I am unsure as to how long it will take for the various school districts and states to follow through on their promise to help students "reach for the top", but until that happens, I would not wait for your child to fail.
If you are looking to have your child have the confidence and skill sets needed to navigate through this tumultuous time, find a company that has a track record of adapting to the changing needs of education. At Learning Ridge, we've made certain that we have the resources and materials to help each student access the information that they need in order to be confident and successful in their educational endeavors. Months have been spent aligning our services and products to make sure that we have everything that we need so that every minute we spend working with the student yields the best results. It's something that we have seen tremendous results in - and has attributed to the success of many who have called on us.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CRCT 2014.. Good luck students!

It's that time of the year where students are about ready to change their habits from sleeping in and skipping breakfast to having their parents set their alarm clocks and waking them up in preparation for those four letters that has caused more stress and turmoil than I've seen in my last ten years in education: CRCT.

Understandably, this test is a way to collect data from each and every student so that we can objectively assess many different things: how great their teacher was, how great the administration has been, and generally, what the overall school climate is in that community.

It has been without a question that because the game has changed to using the Common Core Standards, more and more heartache has been seen in both classrooms and carpools alike. I've seen parents both applaud and complain at the standards, I've seen different twenty different iterations of how to solve simple fractions that I learned to do with two steps, I've seen parents "save" kids from the piles of superfluous homework by either giving them a family homework pass or (I heard this on the radio) doing the homework for them. Either way, it's been quite a painful year.

My main concern is, and always will be the children. As a good parent, I'm sure that you want the best for your children. As a good community, we want to be represented as the best (especially here in Cobb County). However, at what cost does being the best come to for some of our children? Nothing pains me more than hearing a five year old complain of stomach issues, headaches or nosebleeds because of needing to perform. It's rather abrupt to have students go from perform in a lackadaisical manner to a more persnickety  manner to compensate for what has not been expected in the last twenty years.

After this series of tests, I think there will be a gross re-evaluation of not only what we can expect from our students, but also from the adults who make decisions for these students.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Private School Admissions Update

Yes, it's almost (at least that's what I think now) over.. Many parents are through the first two hurdles of Admissions Preparation and they are waiting for what's next. Now, my more outstanding clients are actually working with me on transition planning so that their student can stay ahead of the pack for the 2014-2015 school year.

This has been quite an interesting year. Unlike last year where one client decided to "scream his way into an assessment" (yes, it actually happened. I wonder what their tour to the school looked like that year.) we've had the opportunity to work with a great group of people this year as well as a few returning clients.

I'm excited to say that 95% of this work is done. In line with knowing that the children will be attending a new school, many of our clients have continued to work on transition planning to make sure that their child will "hit the ground running" when they are at the new school. It's one way to continue leading our clients onto the path to success.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ivy League Parents Choosing Admission Preparation Programs in Atlanta

I'm happy to say that this year has been a great year for Admissions Preparations in Atlanta.
We've had a number of Ivy League Parents who have called us asking us for information about our Admission Preparation program as well as our exclusive line of services and products.

As a company, we have been very proud and honored to help parents navigate through this process and ease the anxiety of each and every stage of the process. From the moment that we pick up the phone to speak to the parent to the time that they begin receiving letters in April, it's been a great run for all of these parents for the 2014-2015 Admissions Season!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Know About George Washington

During an Admission Preparation session, I asked a fifth grade student if he knew who the First President of the United States was. He told me it was Abraham Lincoln.

For many of you who may not be an avid historian like Howard Zinn, the correct answer is George Washington. Here are some fun facts about George Washington:

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in an area called Westmoreland, Virginia. His father was a tobacco farmer who tried to make a living in iron mining. He spent a great part of his childhood on Ferry Farm near Fredricksburg. In 1751, he travelled to Barbados where he became very ill and contracted Smallpox. As a result, part of his face was scarred but the illness did help his body gain an immunity against the disease.

For many years George had spent time serving in many military outfits and his primary goal was to gain commission in the British Army. This was a dream that was unsuccessful but he was able to gain a great deal of military, political, and leadership skills during this time.He was part of the Seven Years War, the Braddock Disaster, and later on led the American Revolution in the Victory of Boston, Defeat at New York, and Defeat at Yorktown.

What George Washington is most famous for was a story that occurred during his childhood. It has been said that he had chopped down his father's favorite cherry tree. When asked about the event, he ultimately admitted to the deed when he was questioned. His famous response was: "I can't tell a lie, Pa."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Would you like to know what private schools are looking for in a prospective family?

It seems that every parent thinks that they know what every private school is looking for in a potential new family. The best answer that I've been given is, "Someone who can write a check."

In areas that are inundated with a high percentage of people with dispensable income (Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas) this may be the case because every family is equally weighted in the value that they provide to the community. In other areas such as New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, the process goes a little deeper than a few taps on the keyboard and "SEND".

If you would like more information on the Admissions Preparation process here in Atlanta, feel free to contact Christine at christine@learningridge.com and we will help you understand the process of Admissions Preparation in the Greater Atlanta area!